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BOYNE Golf –Michigan Golf At Its Finest
by David Theoret

No golf trip to Northern Michigan is complete without a visit to BOYNE Golf near Petoskey, MI. In my mind, no other Michigan golf resorts offer the variety of golf courses that BOYNE Golf provides. Golfers have the opportunity to play ten uniquely different golf courses, stay in a variety of accommodations designed to meet anyone’s needs, and dine at some incredible restaurants. 

Recently, I was able to play several courses in the BOYNE Golf lineup, including two of my favorite courses at The Highlands, the Arthur Hills Course and the Robert Trent Jones-designed Heather Course. The Arthur Hills course is one of Hill’s best efforts and showcases the beauty of the Northern Michigan terrain. Huge waste bunkers dot the landscape, and narrow approach passages lead to surprising yet subtle greens. The 13th hole is considered by many to be one of the most spectacular holes in Northern Michigan, with its 30-story drop from tee to green overlooking 4,000 acres. 

The Heather course was BOYNE Golf’s first golf course in 1966 and is as challenging today as it was then.  Having hosted numerous state PGA and amateur championships, The Heather has earned its reputation as one of the finest championship courses in a state with 800 courses. In 2019, it was named “National Golf Course of the Year” by the National Golf Course Owners Association. Number 18 is my favorite hole on the Heather course. It’s a long par 4 that requires a well-struck drive followed by a long approach shot over a lake into a green that slopes back to front. It may not be the toughest hole on the golf course, but it sure is memorable! 

The Highlands is also home to the Donald Ross Memorial and the Moor courses. The Ross features 18 of the designer's best-known holes from around the globe. The staff at BOYNE Golf went to painstaking lengths to recreate each hole as close to Ross’ original specifications as possible. In 2021, Michigan-based course designer Ray Hearn went one step further and used the latest in design technology to better replicate select holes. Five holes have been completed, and you can expect more in the future. It is arguably the greatest tribute to Donald Ross in the country. 

The Moor is a fair but true test of the game, regardless of ability. The course features nine doglegs and one double-dogleg at the 18th hole. Number 18 is a par 5 and may well be the most exciting finishing hole, featuring every hazard imaginable – water, doglegs, sand, and wetlands – all on one hole. 

Moving over to the courses at Boyne Mountain Resort, each starts with a one-mile drive up the mountain to the first tees. Then it’s all downhill from there, so to speak. Each of the resort’s 36 holes presents a challenge in its own right and uses every aspect of the beautiful northern Michigan terrain. The Alpine course plays host to Michigan's Tournament of Champions each year and offers stunning panoramic views of Deer Lake and its mountain setting. Since you’re starting at the top of the mountain, most holes play downhill, and well-hit drives are rewarded with much more manageable approach shots. The Monument course borrows traits from such notable designers as Donald Ross, Dr. Alister Mackenzie, Robert Trent Jones, George Fazio, and Pete Dye. The course never seems to play the same way twice and the demanding fairways and well-undulated greens will reward a golfer who chooses brains over brawn. 

The Bay Harbor Golf Club courses may well be the crown jewel of the BOYNE Golf courses. This Arthur Hills masterpiece offers 27 holes that are played as three challenging and scenic 18-hole championship courses. The design, quality, and playing conditions on each layout are consistent, but each course is truly unique. Stunning views of Lake Michigan played a major influence in the design of Bay Harbor Golf Club.

The Links/Quarry combination is the most popular and closely follows the rugged coastline, highlighting the magnificence of Lake Michigan and the existing quarry that was preserved to give the layout a dramatic finish. The Links lives up to its name and is situated on the shoreline of Lake Michigan. The Quarry is situated in, around, and through a massive shale quarry that was abandoned over 100 years ago and features 40-foot gorges, stone cliffs, ponds, and a peaceful waterfall. The course requires strategically placed tee shots and well-executed approaches with a few risk-reward opportunities thrown in. Although it may not get the notoriety of its sister courses, The Preserve meanders through native wetlands filled with a multitude of wildlife, weaving the lush grasses and native wildflowers into the scenery, with glimpses of Lake Michigan through the trees.

After many attempts to work Crooked Tree Golf Club into my rotation, I finally succeeded and was not disappointed! Crooked Tree is situated on bluffs high above Little Traverse Bay. The front nine winds its way through centuries-old stands of hardwood trees, which lead to well-manicured, undulating greens. The views of Little Traverse Bay and Lake Michigan make Crooked Tree one of the most photographed golf courses in the state.

Perhaps the biggest news at Boyne this year is that last summer construction began on the Ray Hearn designed nine-hole short course, routed across a ski slope and set among fescue grasses named Doon Brae. Hole lengths will range from 57 to 136 yards. The holes were inspired by nine of Hearn’s favorite greens in Scotland, Ireland, and England. With no formal tees golfers will have the opportunity to put tees anywhere they want so they can play shots from different lies and angles. 

For more information or to book your next vacation and see everything these incredible golf resorts have to offer, visit them at or call a BOYNE Golf Experience Agent at 877.269.8034 to plan your next great golf vacation.


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